October 10, 2023

Community Management Myth #1: Social Media Management is the same as Community Management

By David D.

This is part of a blog series on 10 Myths About Community Management, please see the main article for more detials.

One common misperception is that social media management and community management refer to the same job. While online platforms are undoubtedly part of the scenery, community work is about cultivating real human connections at a far deeper level.

At first glance, both roles mediate conversations and produce engaging content for groups. But a community manager’s focus lies not in chasing metrics, but nurturing fellowship. They care for members holistically – helping everyone from newcomers to long-time supporters feel empowered and find purpose through participation.

Whereas social media optimization prioritizes algorithms and business goals, community management taps into the very human desire for belonging. Managers foster understanding between all walks by lending an ear, emphasizing shared hopes over differences, and appealing to our shared humanity. They mediate not just to enforce rules but enable constructive growth through respectful discourse.

More than operating any individual network, a community manager enables spaces where creativity and care for others can freely flourish both online and beyond. They rally support during hardships, reconcile conflicts, welcome outsiders and help isolated souls rediscover their voice. A true community transcends screens – it means feeling anchored to others through thick and thin.

Skilled community leaders view social tools as a means to fuller ends, not the work itself. They see beyond demographics to each person’s shared dreams and leverage collective efforts to improve lives. While technology plays support roles, the manager fosters fellowship through one-on-one affairs of the heart no algorithm can replace.

At its best, community uplifts in a way no product or KPI ever could by celebrating our shared potential for empathy, justice and human flourishing. Its caretakers enable this grand vision through everyday acts of compassion. Their impact resonates far wider than any online following alone ever could.

David D.
David D.

Building Online Communities since 1998 | Full Stack Community Professional | Host of Community Live